Nov 25 2009
The much maligned Harlequin Horizons (which authors and readers had begun to refer to as HarHo after what I presume to mean that some one is engaging in prostituting herself) has transformed into DellArte Press. It has essentially the same look and feel but there is no mention of Harlequin anywhere. Even the contact person is located in Indiana.
I can’t see any mention of Horizons or DellArte Press over at the Harlequin boards (but I also confess to not being very familiar with these boards and could have totally missed it). There is no word whether this will pacify the writing organizations. To use Chicklet’s terminology, it appears that Harlequin will be participating in some form of publisher cash for service program in fact, but no longer in name.
Choire writing for the Awl describes the new publishing venture that Talking Points Memo has undertaken. TPM, one of the largest, oldest, and most visible liberal blogs, has been responsible for breaking quite a few stories in the last couple of years. It has hired a publisher.
This publisher will be responsible for making the publication hum and grow. The first duty in the listing is “audience growth.” This is what a publisher should do: ensure the ongoing financial success and growth of his or her publication. Instead, what we have now in the media industry are publishers who believe their duties include dictating the editorial mission on behalf of a business principle. This is when publishers go wrong and, generally, is when they should be taken out back and shot.
Teleread has a piece on how to get a bargain ebook reader. It recommends both the high end which is buying a subscription to the Globe & the Kindle Dx or heading off to eBay for a sub $50 PDA. PDAs with a 3.5″ screen or larger can be a good reading device.
Nathan Bransford takes a look at the economics of publishing. Lynn Viehl had shared that she was paid a $50,000 advance and earned an additional $24,517.36 in profit after taxes. It was estimated that the gross revenue for the publishing was $450,000.00. Bransford points out that the profit for the publisher takes into consideration all of the expenses and that bestsellers make up for the majority of books that don’t make any money (or may actually lose money for publishers). Of course, for authors to get a greater chunk of the profit, they’ll have to move away from the traditional publishing model.
Edan Lupicka writing for The Millions points out the hazards of giving out awards because of gender or ethnicity. It’s demeaning to those groups of writers whose talent and skill should speak and be judged for themselves. (Via @glecharles). But Lupicka isn’t certain on how to erase gender or race bias but lamenting the lack of diversity amongst winners of prestigious awards can lead to awards given on something other than merit or somehow diminishing the work of the author based on gender or ethnicity.
Persona Non Data tackles the issue of publishing and pricing. It’s a pretty fascinating article and I definitely recommend interested parties take a look. PND was in the airline industry and each seat had a different value. Books are not priced differently but are subject to a band of pricing. PND then goes on to talk about researchers of the music industry and students’ sensitivity to price:
The authors also experimented with a subscription type model that had a fixed price component with a per-use fee, and this model appeared to be more effective at maximizing revenue and value for both retailer and consumer.
Google Books is based on a subscription based model. The key to an author’s increased revenue from subscription based models is volume. In other words, from a pool of subscribers, the author gets revenue by virtue of being in the pool from a large number of people who would have never bought her book in the first place. Depending on the subscription price, this has real interest to me as a reader.
In self publishing setting, authors could set up coops to have effectively the same result.